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Royal Opera House staff to be made redundant

Nearly 300 Royal Opera House backstage staff will be made redundant when its building in Covent Garden, central London, closes for redevelopment next year, it was revealed yesterday. Announcing its plans for the two seasons that the house will be closed after July 1997, the ROH said the Royal Opera would perform at a range of London venues including the Barbican Centre and the Royal Albert Hall, while the Royal Ballet will perform at the Royal Festival Hall and London Coliseum. The ballet company will also tour, both in Britain and internationally.

Jobs will be reduced from 820 to 500, with staff being offered enhanced redundancy pay and first consideration for new posts when the ROH reopens. Sir Jeremy Isaacs, general director, said: "I very much regret that the very different programme means we cannot keep all our staff with us during closure."